Grapes are tasty and delicious and they have health benefits that go beyond their fiber and good taste, especially because of the main 2 compounds: Resveratrol and Quercetin. Weather a person eats purple, red, or green versions of this renowned fruit, grapes can be extraordinary for our health.
The health benefits of grapes can be found in both grape juice and fresh grapes, and for those people who have been considering claims about the benefits of drinking red wine as a reason to up wine intake, a number of studies have recommended that grape juice confers similar benefits that wine does. Whether in the form of juice or fruit, grapes can be a perfect addition to your diet, though they shouldn’t be considered as a cure-all fruit.
One of the most famous health benefits of grapes is the antioxidant effect. The correlation between tannins in grapes and health benefits were first noticed in France. It was noticed that the French even though they are in the top countries for alcohol (in particular red and white wine) and tobacco consumption, did not suffer heart attacks as frequent as people in other countries. Using this idea, researchers began to seriously study the matter.
A medical observation called the French Paradox stated that French people had a lesser risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. Through the years, scientists and researchers have conducted several studies to find the reasons behind this finding. As a result, it was revealed that the habit of drinking red wine is greatly associated to their lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Red wine is a renowned derivative of grapes, specifically red grapes or dark-colored grapes. Researchers found that red grapes in particular provide the most health benefits.
Many of the health benefits of grapes focus around the high minerals and vitamins content of grapes. This fruit is certainly high in vitamins A, B6 and C, along with iron, copper, zinc, manganese, potassium, calcium and folate, all of which are essential for human health, particularly to those people who are very active. The high minerals and vitamins content makes grapes a perfect addition to a healthy diet, particularly if people obey the rule of consuming five servings of different colored vegetables or fruits per day, guaranteeing a diverse consumption of minerals and vitamins.
In addition to minerals and vitamins, two main components of grapes, Resveratrol and Quercetin, are linked to health benefits.
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol compound which can also be found in some plants and peanuts, in addition to grapes. It is specifically found in grapes’ skin – in the making of red wine, the grapes are usually fermented with the skin, making the Resveratrol content of red wine peaking at high levels. In addition to Resveratrol, grapes contain Quercetin, which is a flavonoid.
The compounds Resveratrol and Quercetin are known to have several health effects based on several studies conducted throughout the world. These health benefits include the following:
1. Resveratrol and Quercetin can decrease risk of heart problems
As mentioned earlier, French men who drink red wine moderately have a lower risk of developing heart diseases. Several studies revealed that Resveratrol causes inhibition of several processes that have negative effects to the heart including adhesion and proliferation of cells in arteries and veins. It also reduces the aggregation of platelets which can cause blockage in the vascular system, leading to myocardial infarction.
Resveratrol also reduce cholesterol due to a compound by the name of Pterostilbene and also protects the heart muscle. Many organizations which advocate for circulatory health recommend consuming grapes and grape natural juices.
2. High antioxidant effects
Resveratrol has many antioxidant properties that were found to be extremely beneficial to cells and organs of the human body. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant, which not only lessens oxidation, but also supports in strengthening other antioxidant elements in our body.
It has also shown good effects on neutralizing free radicals or cancer-causing compounds.
Resveratrol has also an anti-aging component, though grapes will definitely not render a person immortal.
According to Harvard Medical School researchers, this substance can restrict calories intake. It activates enzymes that slow aging, thus increasing DNA stability and extending life span by 70%.
4. Anti-diabetic effects
The polyphenol resveratrol is known to enhance glucose uptake in cases of Diabetes Mellitus. By doing such, diabetes symptoms such as excessive hunger and thirst are alleviated. Blood sugar is also decreased, based on studies conducted by pharmaceutical companies.
5. Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
Resveratrol production in plants takes place when the plants are exposed to invading microorganisms. Practically, resveratrol is produced by the grape plant for defensive and anti-fungal properties. It seems that the compound has the same anti-infection and anti-inflammatory effects on humans.
Quercetin in grapes has microbial properties, with the potential to reduce the risk of bacterial and viral infection. Studies have also shown that it inhibits formation of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and HBsAg.
6. Anti-cancer benefits
Quercetin has shown effects on preventing cancer by altering some of the mechanisms associated with the disorder. According to many health experts, flavonoids decrease the risk of cancer. In addition, Resveratrol also helps in this process by providing some benefits to the nervous system and brain.
7. Anti-hypertensive properties
Resveratrol is also known to reduce blood pressure as it decreases the levels of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol.
8. Preventing macular degeneration
Another health benefit of Resveratrol and Quercetin or grapes in general is visual health. People who consume grapes usually have a lower risk of developing certain eye conditions such as macular degeneration.
The health benefits of Resveratrol and Quercetin seem to go beyond what is already known about this compound. It is also thought to help reduce skin cancer and to have some effect on weight control due to controlling stirrin1 involved in the metabolism of sugar.
There are a number of products containing Resveratrol that are now heavily being marketed. Resveratrol is commercially produced in capsules. Many food products including Resveratrol wine are also being presented to consumers. Spanish wine for example has an increased quantity of Resveratrol – about 13 mg/l.
Grapes are a part of a healthy diet, but it is important to note the highest concentrations of Resveratrol are in the blue, red varieties of grapes as previously mentioned.
The benefits of grapes to human health and fitness are a great reason to increase the consumption of grapes and grape juice. However, you need to be very careful about what types of juice you buy. The finest grape juices should come with low sugar content, since grapes are normally sweet, and they should also preferably be fresh, with least stabilizers. A person who wants to obtain the benefits of Resveratrol and Quercetin by consuming wine, such as red wine, should be mindful that alcohol can have harmful effects on the body, particularly when it is consumed in high volume.